I started storm chasing/spotting in 1991 at the age of 16 in Central Oklahoma. I was accepted into the Meteorology program in the department of Geography at the University of Nebraska in 1995. After being in the meteorology program for approximately one year I decided that my love of weather and storms were MUCH different than the science of meteorology. I eventually changed directions and ended up as a Geography major at the University of Nebraksa-Omaha and received my bachelors degree in 2005.
My love of weather never waned, but things quieted down for several years until in 2011 when I decided to resume my passion for chasing. This is when I teamed up with Chad Alcares and we began to stream our chases live on ChaserTv.com. Thus, the Weather Weenies were born. Since resuming chasing in 2011, between the two of us we have chased in 11 states, logged thousands of miles and bagged 4 tornadoes (with many funnels and near misses).
2012 overall was a very quiet season for us. Chad and I both saw one tornado. Ironically we were both on solo chases when we saw them. Chads was an EF2 in Southern South Dakota and mine was an EF1 in Central Oklahoma near Piedmont.
We both look forward to the 2013 chase season and hope it is our best yet. I would like to thank all our viewers who support us and give us encouragement. Here is to chasing early and often! Please feel free to send me email with any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing up I was a big fan of weather - I blame it on all the cool places I lived at. The Weather Channel was on 24 hours a day when I was home. Thunderstorms, snow storms, rain, hurricanes, love it all. I haven't been chasing very long, but I consider myself an amateur forecaster and weather observer and have been tracking severe weather for many many years - even before I knew that that meant. From the days of sitting on the porch with my dad during the intense gulf coast thunderstorms, to living in the panhandle of Texas in Lubbock, Texas and watching an evening supercell with tornado north of town in the garage with my dad (mom eventually made me take cover), to intense extratropical (ex-hurricanes) packed with 60 mph and greater winds hitting the British Isles - to watching afternoon thunderstorms develop and come off the Black Hills almost like clockwork - giving me hours of viewing storm structure in the summer afternoons.
I do have a bachelor of science meteorology degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In fact, I moved here from Rapid City,SD after graduating High School to pursue the degree. 18 years later... still here. Like Steve I found the science of meteorology not quite the same as my love of weather, but I stubbornly kept trodding through and somehow got the degree. In fact Steve and I shared the same Introduction to Meteorology class but never knew each other, it wasn't until 10 years later did we realize that. May last year Steve emailed me, said let's go storm chasing and I said okay... packed in a Toyota Corolla with no GPS, a webcam that wouldn't work unless we put sunglasses on it, that started the bug... and mad me realize that yes, I can go to the storm not wait for it to come to me. At first, I just tag along with Steve as navigator and forecaster/current conditions guy - but I've got my own setup now for those solo events - for the times when Steve can't make it out - and it proved fruitful in South Dakota in June a couple of times.
My favorite part of a storm is watching it go from a small area of congested cumulus to it's first test fire into the upper atmosphere - to developing the anvil and then a solid updraft base - where you can see the convection just rising and rising... amazing how you can go from perceived "nothing" to full fledged thunderstorm in 30 minutes or less. For the 17 years up to last year, I was mainly a local enthusiast, not driving more than say a few counties away to view storms. The storms would come to me... Now I want to go anywhere and everywhere to see them. Too often around here in Eastern Nebraska - the storms are late evening and have begun to line out into a squall line after doing their tornadic business in South Central Nebraska and western Kansas. But we do get a perfect setup every once a while - like the setup for the tornado near Seward Nebraska on June 13, 2001. Did I forget to say I like trying out forecasting too? yeah that's fun. You'll probably see some attempted forecasts by me when we get any interesting weather. Please feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments to email@example.com.
We started chasing in our own backyard in mid 2011, but quickly expanded to other targets in our region. Our primary zone is South East and South Central Nebraska, but we also spend quite a bit of time in Northern Kansas and even creep down into Oklahoma and Texas on occasion. Many storm chasers consider a chase a "bust" if there are no tornadoes to be had, but we get just as much enjoyment out of "chasing" storm structure, photographing lightning, and occasionally trying to outrun a bowed storm segment (this can be quite exhilarating!).
Personal and public safety are also huge concerns when we chase. We never want to put ourselves or anyone else in unnecessary danger and we feel that we offer value as "eyes in the sky" as our reports and live video can be a valuable resource to NWS warning coordinators.
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